The hostile behavior of the “West” towards China and Russia has consequences.
The International Space Station is losing the Russian modules it needs to maneuver. The United States must immediately build new propulsion modules if they want to save it.
Russia has said it will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 to focus on building its own orbital outpost. …
Yuri Borisov, who was named head of Roscosmos, Russia’s state-controlled space company earlier this month, told a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would fulfill all its obligations to the other partners before leaving the project. …
Borisov said that “the decision to leave the station after 2024 has been taken”. »
The United States had planned to operate the station until 2031:
“Earlier this year, NASA released plans that could see this 444,615kg structure being lifted from orbit in January 2031 and crashing into a ‘starship graveyard’. …
She said the lab would continue to operate until 2030, but its long-term future was unsustainable. »
The end date will likely be earlier than NASA predicted. As a previous report explained:
“Russia provides the propellant and thrusters needed to periodically reboost the station, a critical capability that NASA cannot currently replace. Maneuvering is provided by thrusters built into Russian modules Zarya and Zvezda and aboard visiting Progress supply ships. …
A Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo ship, which arrived earlier this week, is the first American vehicle, after the space shuttle, to be able to revive the station, but it cannot on its own replace the Russian capacity.
NASA astronauts are not trained to operate Russian systems and vice versa for cosmonauts. Neither party can operate the laboratory safely on its own. »
Without the Russian propulsion modules, the station will continually slow down and sink towards earth until it breaks apart and burns up in the atmosphere.
The US building its own propulsion modules would most likely take more than two years. They would arrive too late to save the station.
Russia has plans to build a new space station. An alternative for her could be to hook up to the Chinese space station that was launched last year. Yesterday she received her second major module, a laboratory. A third major module will be added later in the year.
China built its own space station because the United States barred it from participating in the ISS:
“China has been barred from the ISS since 2011, when Congress passed a law banning official US contact with China’s space program due to national security concerns. National security, of course, is the phrase that allows any country to do whatever it wants, even if it has nothing to do with, you know, the security of the nation. But whatever. »
Only 11 years after this ban, China launched and operates its own space station.
It is likely that from 2025 there will only be one international space station. But it will be exploited by China and probably Russia, while the United States and its allies will surely be excluded. It is the consequence of the hostile behavior of the United States which excludes and punishes others for less than serious reasons.
The United States has lobbied the Dutch government to ban delivery to China of the ASML machines needed to make the 4-7 nanometer structures for today’s most advanced computer chips. Two weeks ago, the United States started pushing to ban ASML from delivering even its older models to China.
But a Canadian company recently discovered that Chinese company SMIC is already mass-producing 7nm chips. This ability had never been announced:
“This is the most advanced technology product TechInsights has seen from SMIC to date and could lead to a real process around 7nm technology that incorporates scaled memory and logic cells. reduced,” TechInsights said. …
Chip world watcher Dylan Patel noted another implication for SMIC’s 7nm capabilities. According to him, this development means that China is now more advanced than the United States or Europe in terms of 7nm chip manufacturing capabilities, since the American chipmaker Intel has yet to bring its 7nm process up to speed. layout of foundries. »
China is also building more chip factories than anyone else:
“China is the world leader in building new chip factories, a step towards greater semiconductor self-sufficiency that could ultimately make some buyers dependent on China for many commodity chips currently in short supply.
As chipmakers scramble to ramp up production and address supply shortages, no country is growing faster than China, which is expected to build 31 large semiconductor factories, called fabs, over the course of the year. of the next four years, according to the SEMI group.”
Until now, China imported $300 billion worth of chips a year. When all the new Chinese fabs are ready, most of that money will stay in China. Chip producers in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and the United States will have to seek new customers or reduce their own production.
Sanctions on space stations and microchips only demonstrate the inevitable consequences of hostility towards big countries like Russia and China.
These countries have enough alternatives to replace the sanctioned products and to develop their own production capacities.
All this while the United States and its allies are losing market share.
Sources: Moon of Alabama; translation Wayan, proofread by Hervé, for Le Saker Francophone.